Washington, DC, August 17, 2023 – Twelve Phillips & Cohen attorneys have been selected for Best Lawyers in America® 2024 edition for their work representing whistleblowers.
Phillips & Cohen partners, Mary Louise Cohen, Erika Kelton, Peter Chatfield, Colette Matzzie, Claire Sylvia, Stephen Hasegawa, Jeffrey Dickstein, Sean McKessy, Edward Arens, Amy Easton, Matthew Smith, and of course, Larry Zoglin, are included in the list for Best Lawyers for their work in qui tam law. This is the first Best Lawyers in America® recognition for Hasegawa, Dickstein, McKessy, Arens, and Smith. Phillips & Cohen is having an exceptional year, settling nine whistleblower cases in the first seven months of 2023 and returning hundreds of millions of dollars to the US treasury.
Best Lawyers in America 2024
- Mary Louise Cohen is a co-founder of Phillips & Cohen LLP and a key voice in shaping the contemporary False Claims Act practice. Her noteworthy qui tam wins include a case against TAP Pharmaceuticals for allegedly paying illegal kickbacks to doctors that settled for $875 million and a case against Quest Diagnostics that was settled for $302 million, the largest amount paid by a medical lab company for a faulty healthcare product.
- Erika Kelton has extensive experience representing FCA, SEC, and CFTC whistleblowers. She won two of the largest healthcare fraud settlements ever: $3 billion by GlaxoSmithKline and $2.3 billion by Pfizer. In 2022, Kelton had another record-setting year, including an SEC combined reward of over $40 million, likely the largest SEC whistleblower awards made to international whistleblowers so far.
- Peter Chatfield‘s successes include representing the whistleblower in a qui tam case against HCA, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, which was the basis for a majority share of HCA’s $881 million settlement with the government. Chatfield also represented the first whistleblower to report to US government officials off-label sales of dangerous synthetic opioids by Cephalon Inc. for unapproved and unsafe uses. In that case, Cephalon Inc. paid a total of $425 million to settle four qui tam lawsuits and a criminal charge.
- Colette Matzzie has represented whistleblowers in a number of significant qui tam lawsuits involving both recoveries for federal and state governments, protecting patients and consumers alike. That includes a groundbreaking case against electronic health records vendor eClinicalWorks, which settled for $155 million and was featured on the CBS show, Whistleblower. In 2023, Matzzie secured a settlement against NextGen Healthcare who agreed to pay $31 million to settle False Claims Act allegations.
- Claire Sylvia is a nationally recognized authority in False Claims Act qui tam matters. Her book, The False Claims Act: Fraud Against The Government (West 2016 & Supplements), has been an important reference since it was first published in 2004. Among her successes is a first-of-its-kind federal and state False Claims Act case involving cybersecurity issues, which Cisco Systems paid $8.6 million to resolve. In 2023, Sylvia along with her partners Amy Easton and Jeffrey Dickstein, represented the whistleblower in a qui tam case brought against UPMC and its top surgeon, securing an $8.5 million settlement for alleged fraud and risk of patient harm.
- Stephen Hasegawa has represented whistleblowers in cases involving healthcare, defense, aerospace, financial services, and government procurement. He helped win a $75 million settlement against a subsidiary of Community Health Systems Inc. and three hospitals for allegations the hospitals improperly increased federal payments intended for indigent patient care and secured a $22.8 million settlement against Linde GmbH and Linde Engineering North America for evading US customs duties on materials it bought and imported to build chemical and natural gas plants.
- Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Dickstein brings over 30 years of healthcare litigation experience to his work for whistleblowers. In 2023, he and his colleague Amy Easton settled a $22 million case against a Medicare Advantage plan in Maine and New Hampshire, alleging the plan committed fraud by making it’s patients appear to be sicker than they really were to obtain higher payments from Medicare and a $17 million settlement against a large ophthalmology practice in Tennessee, resolving allegations that it paid kickbacks to optometrists who referred patients for cataract surgery; Dickstein also helped secure a $50 million settlement against a West Virginia Hospital for alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, and the False Claims Act.
- Sean McKessy is the principal architect of the SEC’s whistleblower program and the first Chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office, bringing unparalleled knowledge of the SEC’s whistleblower program in his work for clients. He represents clients before the SEC and the CFTC and has won for his whistleblower clients awards of $20 million, $1.25 million, and in 2023, $9 million.
- Edward Arens has had success representing whistleblowers in a number of large-scale cases, including a 2023 whistleblower case against KBR for allegedly defrauding the United States Army in connection with materials used for the Iraq War that settled for over $108 million. Arens also successfully represented a whistleblower in a case related to California’s Medicaid expansion that resulted in settlements totaling over $90 million in 2023.
- As a former DOJ senior trial counsel, Amy Easton has had numerous successes in qui tam law at Phillips & Cohen. In 2023, along with her colleague Jeffrey Dickstein, she secured a settlement of $17 million against SouthEast Eye Specialists and its subsidiaries to resolve allegations that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act for illegally inducing eye doctors to refer patients to SEES for cataract surgeries. Easton also successfully secured a settlement against a West Virginia hospital for violating the False Claims Act, Stark Law, and Anti-Kickback Statute, yielding a $50 million settlement.
- Matthew Smith has had decades of success representing whistleblowers. Smith, along with his colleague Peter Chatfield, helped secure a majority share of HCA’s $881 million global settlement with the government. In addition, Smith was on the team that pursued a case against Kyphon/Medtronic Spine and 100’s of hospitals for a fraudulent billing scheme, recovering $180 million for the government over 13 years. Smith is also involved with the development of potential new whistleblower cases for Phillips & Cohen.
- Larry Zoglin represents whistleblowers in qui tam cases as well as under the SEC and IRS whistleblower programs. He was the lead attorney in a qui tam case alleging skilled nursing facilities owned by the Ensign Group were engaged in a Medicare billing fraud scheme that settled for $48 million. Zoglin also served as co-lead counsel with Colette Matzzie in the eClinicalWorks case that settled for $155 million.
ABOUT PHILLIPS & COHEN
Phillips & Cohen is the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries from our cases totaling over $12.8 billion. We have been recognized for our work by numerous national awards. Our attorneys and cases have been in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and other news media. Phillips & Cohen’s roster includes former federal prosecutors, the first head of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, a former deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the author of a leading treatise on the False Claims Act and attorneys with decades of experience representing whistleblowers. For more information or to discuss your case contact us.